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Olivia Smithies

I was introduced to the game of chess by my older brother James when I was about four years old, and I was introduced to Scholar's Mate repeatedly for months.

Chess has always been a family game and all my holidays as a child were spent playing against my family members. As I got older, the competition got tougher as I started entering tournaments but I carried on playing and started working at chess tournaments in my teens.

Upon leaving university with an English degree I got in touch with local IM Michael Basman, in the hopes of producing chess books with him, I was encouraged to start teaching chess in local primary schools. Seeing my students compete in local events, and using the skills they have honed in class makes me very proud, and I hope to give them the confidence to keep playing, whether they win or lose, and keep them loving chess for many years to come.

Olivia Smithies

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